Blue Square On the Block As Online Sports Betting Lags

Published Thursday, January 10, 2013 -

Rank Group has been providing quality entertainment for a long time and now it is considering a sale of it Blue Square division which in a statement to the press Rank revealed that the sports betting market was highly competitive and Blue Square “continues to generate an operating loss”.

The proposed changes to the taxation policy in the United Kingdom is prompting the company which is owned by the Guoco Group of Malaysia is an investment holding company to rethink its offering in the sports betting sector. The bottom line is most important to a holding company of this stature. Blue Square which was sold to Rank in 2003 and has about 120,000 patrons and represents a small portion of the group’s income and requires constant market advertizing to keep up with revenue generation. Revenue at Blue Square was increased by as much as 19 percent in recent times driven by a huge marketing campaign worth £2million.

Smaller operators such as Blue Square are forecasting declines in revenue after the proposed new tax regime takes effect in 2014. Betfair, Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes will feel the pinch too but not to the same extent as small operators like Blue Square. Rank wants to consolidate and focus its efforts on its casino and bingo brands, Grosvenor Casino and Mecca. The firm like other operators is completing its £205m deal to buy Gala Coral’s casinos. A ruling from the Competition Commission on potential monopolies in some UK cities that would be created by the deal is expected in February of 2013 and Rank officials say they are sure the deal will be approved.

As the market place demands more from the operators in the United Kingdom in the form of taxes, the competition is getting hotter. The less profit available to operators the slimmer the margin the more likely smaller operations will leave the market which means less selection for the consumer.

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